Today I sit down with Patrick Mason, LDS scholar and author of the new book “Planted”. We talk about doubt, the struggle that a faith transition is. We talk about the messiness of issues and what is needed for us to better support our struggling brothers and sisters. Patrick takes on all questions and pulls no punches. This is as honest and authentic as anyone I have had on the podcast. If you do nothing else, purchase planted and read chapter 1 and give it to those whose support you need. From the first Chapter he deals empathetically and honestly with both the doubter and the person who loves and supports them. What an amazing interview….. I hope you like it.
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Info on Patrick Mason
Planted: An Interview with Patrick Mason
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I’m planning to bear my testimony on Sunday acknowledging how I believe differently, perhaps I’ll record it and send it over to you Bill if it turns out as expected.
We’ll see… how it goes.
Would love to hear it my friend. Did you listen to Mason? what did you think?
I just finished listening to your podcast with Patrick Mason. In a lot of ways it was refreshing to imagine a future version of the church with more emphasis on Christ and less emphasis on Mormon dogma. As I listened to Patrick explain his confidence that the church will actually become honest and humble and more Christ centered I found myself hoping it could actually happen. When you made the comment that we could change everything if we just had ten clones of Patrick in every ward, I thought how liberating that would be for people like me who feel completely alone and marginalized.
With that being said, I am personally grappling with so many “doctrinal” issues that I’m still trying to get past the big questions. I’m no longer certain that the gospel of Jesus Christ literally restored through Joseph Smith. I’m no longer sure that the Book of Mormon is historically real. I’m pretty sure the temple ceremonies weren’t actually revealed by God and that they were invented by Joseph Smith. etc.etc.
With so much evidence coming out that contradicts the fundamental truth claims of the church, it’s going to be impossible for me to stay in the church no matter how much it evolves. Until I can regain my testimony of the doctrine that is so unique to Mormonism, I’ll have a hard time focusing on Patrick’s future vision. If Joseph Smith wasn’t exactly who he claimed to be, we’re just wasting our lives trying to improve the culture of a man-made religion. For me and thousands of other members like me, the REAL problem facing the church is the truth.
All I can say to is to where shall we turn to? (John 6:67-68). We might better serve ourselves by improving the community that which we have been part of.
There are some elements of the divine in our religious tradition, and some that have been embellished. It’s our job to sort between the two.
If we don’t do it then who, and if not now, when?
Around the 56 minute mark, Patrick mentions that we should “…also have the humility to say sometimes I might be wrong and they might be right and I need to change my mind when I hear messages that are hard for me to hear.”
I could not agree more. However, in my experience with talking and listening to those who are critical of the church, I have never seen or heard that happen.
I have tons of conversations. Often I am the critic and just as often I have been on the faithful side. While playing that faithful advocate I have had numerous critics engage me in kind conversations where they acknowledge they could be wrong or have more to learn. The issue of when walls go up have to do more with empathy and validation than anything else. Do you empathize with them over the pain they have felt and the real role the church played in their disenchantment? Did you validate just how messy this is and how reasonable some of their points were?
I have to admit that I have not had many personal conversations about these topics. I’ve found that many of the people I know are not nearly as interested in talking about these issues as I am. Most of my observations are from listening to hours and hours of various Mormon podcasts and reading many comments. My impression is that those who are the most conservative in their views cannot think of a time that a church leader is ever wrong (not even their Bishop so much as the Prophet). On the flip side, those who are most critical cannot think of a time that a church leader is right and they are wrong. It seems like Isaiah 55:8-9 does not exist to them or they do not believe that church leaders have been called to watch over and counsel others. I guess that means that I empathize with the pain that others feel, but I don’t necessarily empathize with the conclusions they draw from that pain.
Such a beautiful podcast episode. I still feel like a fringe observer, waiting for some ‘sign’ that it’s ok to come back- like I’d be welcome to participate as myself. Hearing an active member with this kind of understanding gives me a lot of hope. Thanks- hope your book is as helpful as this was.
I LOVED when Patrick said that “The ‘I know’ culture is one response to” having been beat up and persecuted, and that while we can’t/shouldn’t speak as much as we think we can about what we “know”, we “can speak with great confidence as to the things that I hope for.”
But I want to call you out on something Bill: you claim that all 15 leaders felt that the priesthood ban for black men was correct. I don’t think that is true. It is very likely that MOST of them did, but I don’t think there ever was unanimity on that topic.
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I can’t even tell you how validating it felt When Patrick said that men are a ‘privileged class’ in the church. How many men (and sadly women) would even acknowledge this? Indeed they are! I know nothing will change overnight but if more Mormons would just acknowledge this I feel like I could be more patient as a Mormon woman, waiting for change that so desperately needs to happen.
LOVED THIS WHOLE PODCAST!
It is one of my favorites as well. Thank You
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